Signs Your House Has Poor Indoor Air Quality and How to Repair It

May 22, 2020

We spend a lot of time indoors. In fact, the EPA has determined most people spend 90% of their lives within a building, where air quality can be 2–5 times more polluted than outside.

Decreased indoor air quality can have an adverse effect on your wellness. That’s why it’s essential to know the warnings of poor air quality in your home, what triggers it and how to take care of it.

If you’re looking for ways to tell if your Rockford home’s air quality is bad, our team of HVAC professionals at Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling, Inc can help. We’ll go over the problems you’re having and give plans to make your house’s air cleaner.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

When you envision pollution, you generally think of smog. But common items in your home can create pollution by the gases or particles they release into the air.

These origins involve:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cleaning, personal care and hobby items
  • Combustion appliances, like a furnace or stove that uses gas
  • Dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Excessive moisture
  • HVAC systems
  • Recently placed flooring or carpeting
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Artificial building materials, like furniture manufactured from pressed wood

Indoor air pollution can be worsened by a lack of ventilation in your home, as well as hot temperatures and humidity. Modern residences are securely sealed for energy efficiency, which is a plus for your energy expenses but not so great when you have to have more fresh air indoors.

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Make You Sick?

Because people respond differently to indoor air pollutants, you might experience symptoms immediately or in the future. Your symptoms can go away when you leave your house but come back when you return.

Some of the most common immediate issues involve:

  • Scratchy eyes, nose or throat
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

If someone in your household has allergies or asthma, their symptoms could be heightened.

Constant or extended exposure could lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease or even cancer, the EPA warns.

Other Indications of Low Indoor Air Quality and How to Improve It

Your home will also signal that its air isn’t as clean as it could be.

  1. Your home is extremely dusty, especially close to the vents. It’s normal for your house to get dusty in a week’s time, but accumulation around your air registers should be concerning. There are other substances within dust, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, that can affect your health, very much so if you struggle with allergies or asthma. A premium air filter or whole-home air filtration system can help lower the concentration of dust and other irritating pollutants.
  2. Your home has hot and cold areas. Your HVAC system may be having difficulty maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels. Or there may be air distribution problems because of your heating and cooling equipment or ductwork. Our Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling, Inc specialists can locate the issue and suggest repairs or replacement.
  3. Your home’s air feels too dry or too wet. We suggest maintaining your home’s humidity levels around 30–40% for optimal comfort. If your residence isn’t humid enough during cold weather, your skin and throat could feel scratchy. You might also battle colds and other respiratory illnesses more often. If your house is too humid during hot temperatures, you may have higher mold and mildew growth, both of which are harmful to your health. You can fight these problems with a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, which pairs your home comfort equipment to provide even humidity across your residence.
  4. Your home has lingering odors. You may catch a stale odor when you arrive. Or a cooking scent that just won’t dissipate. Since it’s not feasible to open your windows all the time, a whole-home ventilation system can get your house smelling good again. It exchanges musty inside air with fresh outdoor air.

Other approaches the EPA suggests implementing include keeping your home smoke-free, installing carbon monoxide alarms and maintaining your HVAC unit. Regular furnace maintenance and AC maintenance helps keep your equipment clean and efficient and can even help them work for an extended period of time.

We Can Help Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

If you suspect your residence has an air quality problem, give our Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling, Inc HVAC specialists a call at (815)914-6197 or contact us online. We’re available to talk with you about solutions and give you a free estimate.